Saturday, October 13, 2012

Drake's Birth Story, Part 1: The Beginning

(More than ten months later... what I've been promising...)

 I’ll never forget the sunrise on the morning you were born. Truthfully, I haven’t seen that many sunrises, relatively speaking, because I’ve just never been a morning person. But that particular morning, I was up hours before the sun. It’s funny; I had been really worried that I wouldn’t know when I was in labor. I had heard stories of women going to the hospital as many as five times, thinking they were in labor, before they ever got to walk out with their baby in their arms. We had to drive an hour and a half to the birth center we were planning on using - in December, in Montana – so, needless to say, that seemed like a less than ideal scenario. I had asked my wonderful midwife to give me more clues. What should I look for? How will I know? She told me we would just have to stay in communication and take it as it came. And, this I very specifically remember, she told me, “Don’t expect it to be like in the movies when the wife pops up out of bed in the middle of the night and says, “Honey, it’s time!”” That’s why, when I went to bed on the evening of December 6th, 2011 – after I had finally finished putting together my overnight bag and cleaning the house -  and said to your Dad, “Maybe I’ll just have this baby tonight,” I thought I was kidding. Up to that point, I hadn’t had so much as a single Braxton Hicks contraction.  Turns out, my teasing remark had been right, and my midwife’s very reasonable and wise warning had not.
I sat up in bed at 4 am with what felt like the usual aches and pains of my third trimester. I hadn’t slept through a night in nearly two months because of heartburn and lower back pain. I’d get up, stretch, maybe eat a piece of cheese and a cracker or two, pee, and go back to bed. But on that morning, when I sat up to stretch my sore back, I suddenly felt the sheets beneath me dampen. I shook your Dad. “Honey! I think my water just broke!” Yep. Exactly like a movie. But your Dad’s response… not so much… “Shouldn’t you get off the bed?” You’d think maybe I would have been offended, but the first thought I had was, “It is a $3,500 Tempurpedic,” and hopped off. Bad choice. I was soaked. I quickly sat back down and tried to snap your Dad to attention. “Honey! How about a towel?” And with that, we were both officially aware of what had just begun: your birthday.
We got on the phone to our midwife, who recommended trying to get some more sleep. She said that, since I hadn’t had a single contraction yet, she wasn’t worried about me progressing too quickly, and that I would need my rest for the day. She assured me that my body would wake me back up when it was ready.
After speaking to her, we debated about calling family and friends. There were so many people who were anxious to be there the moment you arrived; I didn’t want them to feel that I had kept them in the dark. But it was only about 4:30 in the morning still, so we opted for a text message to let them all know what was happening without jarring them awake.
Once that was done, we just kind of stared at each other for a few moments. I was sitting on the toilet (I know, really cute image, but my water had just broken!) and your Dad was leaning against the wall with his phone in his hand. We both had this look in our eyes … how to describe without being rude…  I’m just gonna say it: an excited, Holy Shit! kinda look. I think it was your Dad who finally said we ought to try to go to bed. So we laid down a few towels and crawled in.
I really did try to relax and go back to sleep but my contractions were just beginning and the excitement and adrenaline that was coursing through me was overwhelming. I laid there for about 45 minutes before I gave up and got into the shower. By then, texts and phone calls were rolling in and your Nana was up and on her way to me (stopping only to pick up some champagne – the Alton family will take any excuse to celebrate!).
Daddy packed up extra towels and blankets and I trudged out into the snow to snap some pictures of that gorgeous sunrise before we loaded into the car and began our last car trip pre-parenthood. There couldn’t have been a more beautiful or exciting way to start your birthday.

1 comment :

  1. I have been afraid to read this... But I finally did! Glad it is just part 1!